This digital Campfire Why We Hunt was presented and moderated by Whitetail Rendezvous https://whitetailrendezvous.com/ hosted by Bruce Hutcheon and Be a Lion Outdoors – https://www.facebook.com/bealionoutdoors/ – Christopher James.
Well, Bruce, you pretty much already introduced the Campfire series here. Welcome to our first Campfire series, sponsored by Buck Wild Coffee – https://www.facebook.com/buck.wild.94695
What this is all about is just getting like-minded individuals together, we’re going to be sitting down having a discussion, and kind of talk about all things outdoors, whether it be hunting, whether it be different meal tips, whether it’s all about getting people involved in the outdoors and how we could change lives and kind of guide the direction toward more outdoorsmen stewardship.
So I kind of want to kick off this discussion here with something that I kind of came across earlier this week actually in Instagram. A lot of you guys know there’s a hunter out there by the name of Brittany Jill, she’s a great outdoors woman, she does a lot of hunting and fishing and stewardship. Recently she’s been on an elk hunt and she’s had quite a few people kind of bash her and give her death threats and call her disgusting and just overall vile things and kind of attacking her and her character and her lineage and what she does as a passion. We’ve seen an increase of outdoorsmen and hunters, why do you guys feel that there’s more females being attacked on social media pages and just generally overall, whether it be Eva Shockey, Britt Jill, Kendall, any of these female hunters, why do we see more and more females being the target than we see a lot of the males?
Campfire Series 1 – Why We Hunt – Hear Powerful Answers
I’ll open this up to our lone female one here, Brooke Dzara, https://www.pursuituptv.com/page/59a877d2a0e845000c0b2d4d.
Okay. So I have followed Eva and a lot of those girls for a long time. I watched Eva kind of rise to fame after I met her in 2013. I met her when I won the Youth Hunter of the Year Award through Cabela’s. And, you know, we talked about going on a girls hunt, and then we just never were able to make it happen.
And I watched…I followed Eva’s Facebook and Instagram from then on through now and I was actually looking at her husband’s last night because he was being attacked over a bear hunt. And I really noticed Eva get, you know, really bashed over predators more than anything else and I think for women a lot of what we’re seeing is women getting a lot of the flak because women are expected to be these nurturing, loving individuals almost more than men by society for whatever reason. And because of that there is this disgust associated with us, those of us who, you know, kind of do these masculine activities and also kill, it’s almost seen as unnatural.
And that’s kind of what I got from a lot of the comments that I had seen, and really attacking girls’ character. Whereas when I followed…you know, I saw Luke Bryan put something up that he had hunted and he is so famous and had a lot less flak than what I’d seen for Kendall and Eva. And I think that’s why.
Tom, your thoughts? Tom Opre http://www.eyeofthehunter.com/.
Yeah. Thanks for asking me. You know, like it’s great to hear what Brooke was saying. For the last 10 years I started…well, I started 10 years ago an online serious called Extreme Huntress. And the whole idea behind the series was to create and promote women who hunt. Basically because, you know, we need to have, you know, everybody involved in wildlife conservation. And sustainable utilization is…that’s it, that’s hunting.
And when we started this thing, we caught a lot of flak from the anti-hunters
And when we started this thing, we caught a lot of flak from the anti-hunters. And to answer your question, you know, I really think that there are a lot of people in our society today that just really don’t understand. I mean let’s face it, they don’t know where their food comes from. We’ve all seen the videos on YouTube and other places on TV where they’re asking people these questions about, you know, where did their steak come from and they all want to say the grocery store and it comes on a piece of Styrofoam and wrapped in plastic. But we all know as hunters that that’s not how it really works. And these people, because they don’t have that knowledge because they’re so distanced from, you know, that wildland interface or Mother Nature, you know, because they’re ignorant about the situation on the ground, you know, living in cities and living in areas where somebody else is doing their killing for them, we have a whole society where a segment of that society really doesn’t understand.
And when you take a woman, you know, a bearer of life, I mean our mothers out there. Our Extreme Huntresses almost always are married mothers with kids that have good careers, they’re smart, intelligent people, healthy folks. And I think for a long time the anti-hunting establishment has utilized the stereotyped, you know, beer-swilling, whiskey-drinking, shooting-up-sign, redneck hunter as their rallying cry and literally to help raise funds for their efforts. And when a woman comes into the field and she takes that animal…
You know, my wife Olivia, you know, was a beauty pageant winner in 2003, she was Mrs. Nebraska when she worked for Mary and Dick Cabela. And her whole…she had to have a cause when she ran and that cause was to promote hunters as wildlife conservationists. And the pageant backed her on that. And of course she didn’t win, but it gave her a platform to talk about the importance of the hunter as a wildlife conservationist. And over the last 15 years since she won that she’s been the target of tons and tons of anti-hunting hate mail and e-mails.
And we hear about it and we see about it, whether it be Eva Shockey or Melissa Bachman or Rebecca Francis, I mean there’s a long line of them. But I really truly think that these women represent a threat to the anti-hunting establishment, but they also, the general public that doesn’t understand where their food comes from, they just can’t understand why some woman would go out there and take the life of an animal. And we all know why the answer is, is because we want to be an active participant in the circle of life, and we always have been as human beings and we want to take responsibility for it. But I think women, they kind of…they definitely hit a nerve with the anti-hunting establishment.
What are your thoughts Jeremiah, http://fromfieldtoplate.com/ Yeah, I know for a fact that, like, I have a lot of friends, all the girls you’re naming I’m friends with most of them, and hearing their story about why they’re getting attacked and why… You know, and a lot of the stuff, I mean it’s sad to say, it’s a lot of sexual stuff. They’re coming at them saying, you know, “You’re supposed to be, in a sense, the sex symbol to us, you’re not supposed to be this masculine, beautiful female who goes out.”
it’s sad to say, it’s a lot of sexual stuff
You know, I’m a dad of two daughters, and so I look up to all these females and I talk to them all the time and I have them talk to my daughters because I want my daughters to have the confidence and the maturity to be beautiful on and off the field, to be beautiful with their nature, with their words. And so when I watch my friends get bashed, and then they call me crying and I read all the comments, it makes me emotional and it makes me angry sitting there going, “But they’re so much more than just that.”
And then you have the flip side where you have the girls that are just out there with their boobs hanging out holding a fish or holding a dead deer. And so it’s almost that counteractive part. Like me, I don’t…like, I’ve never drank a drop of alcohol and I’ve never shot a sign, like you were saying, but I still get categorized in that group of, you know, redneck hillbillies or whatever they want to say. And so females, you know, even like looking at Brooke’s pictures on Facebook, she’s beautiful in the field and guys are expecting her to be this sex symbol rather than this provider for their family. Because for so long men are the ones going out and getting the food, men are the ones going out and, you know, getting this and that. But I’m a stay-at-home dad and my wife goes out and works full-time. And I think there’s that role reversal that, as a society, they’re scared of.
And the anti-hunters, I mean being a wild-game chef, I get slammed constantly. There was a big push today, like I said, I had 142 death threats today alone because some PETA group got on and saw a picture that I posted and went crazy and threatened my daughters, threatened my wife, threatened me all because I posted a picture of me cutting that meat.
I mean being a wild-game chef, I get slammed constantly
And so you take a female in that aspect where they think, “Well, they’re a weaker species, so we can attack them more and they’re going to cry, they’re going to break down, they’re going to”… And I think they’re seeing the opposite, these females are coming out even stronger than the guys in some parts. So I don’t know, it’s really just thin ice that I think that the females are stronger than, you know, the ice itself, so it’s kind of cool.
Great points, Jeremiah.
CJ you back up?
Yeah, I’m back. Sorry, guys, I had a bit of a technical glitches there, so I kind of missed a good chunk of that discussion. But thank you for carrying it on and kind of keeping on task there. And, Jeremiah, I think you kind of hit the nail on the head with that saying that females are a lot stronger than the ice that they’re walking on right now. And I think that’s a very poignant statement in the fact that we’ve seen a lot of these female hunters band together and really help support each other. And we don’t really see that from the male community, we see a lot of the guys going out there saying, “Well, you know, we’re allowed to,” and kind of that yee-haw sort of mentality. And I’m all for that, but we don’t see that strong support system between a lot of the male hunters out there. It’s one of those… It seems like the males kind of take it more personal and really fire back with a lot of the hateful sort of comments, which doesn’t really help our cause.
So from a male population, how could we be better when we’re dealing with a lot of these anti-hunters? And let’s take it over to Chase.
I think Aretha Franklin said it the best, “Respect.”
Chase, what do you think about it?
Go ahead, Chase, https://www.facebook.com/chase.bowman.5030
Well, I think what you guys said is 100% true, you know, as far as kind of touching back on the women thing. My opinion of a lot of that is it’s just something completely new more than anything. You know, 20 years ago, and I know I’m not really old enough to be talking about 20 years ago, but there really wasn’t that many women that hunted. And now we’ve got all these women that are interested in it and we’ve got all the social media stuff that makes them, you know, more noticed and I think it’s just a new avenue for people to travel to attack hunting in general. I do see a whole lot more of it towards the women, but I think more than anything it’s really something new, is kind of my opinion on it.
As far as what we can do, you know, as far as the men’s side, is, yeah, I think what Jeremiah said about, you know, we don’t really stick together much. It’s more of a competition anymore of who can kill the bigger deer, you know, and things like that and we end up just beating each other down. I see a lot of jealously among hunters today, a lot of, you know, pressure that they put on themselves to kind of outdo everybody else. And, you know, it seems to me that a lot of guys hunt for [Inaudible 00:12:38] reasons, it seems to be just be able to put up a post on Facebook about their deer rather than…
You know, I talk to a lot of guys, and actually I just did a thing at a big archery event the other weekend and I was there trying to hand out brochures and things for Pope & Young, Boone & Crockett, Whitetails Unlimited, just all these different clubs, and nobody cared. Like, you know, two people out of the, you know, hundreds of people there, two people actually sat down and wanted to learn about it. And that was it. A lot of people wanted to talk about hunting, but as soon as you flipped it over to conservation, you know, it was…that was kind of the end of the story once you quit talking about big bucks and, you know, “I killed this big buck,” and, you know, once that was done, it was over.
So I think we need to more band together
So I think we need to more band together and figure out where this thing is going and not beat each other down so much. You know, that’s my opinion on it. We just beat each other down too much and don’t stand together.
Hey Tim your got some thoughts? https://www.instagram.com/prodigyoutdoors/
I mean we’re kind of getting away from the female thing, but, you know, to touch on that. You know, a lot of the females that are in the industry are well…you know, they have a lot of followers which are primarily male hunters. They’re easily accessible by these, you know, anti-hunting groups and they’re vulnerable to that. And, you know, I think I don’t know what to think about the threats and the comments that I’ve seen people post, both male and female. You know, I’ve always been on the side of I don’t try to get people…I don’t try to change, you know, their mind, right? Why would they try to change mine? Why can’t we…you know, you can…you know, we can coexist.
But, you know, in addition to the remarks about males, you know, this industry, I’ve seen more people lose friendships than make friendships. And, you know, the authenticity of some hunters, their credibility, isn’t there. You know, they’re not willing to enter their deer into Boone & Crockett or Pope & Young because, you know, although they’re a celebrity hunter and have a television show, they didn’t shoot that deer in a place that they would be able to enter it into Pope & Young. And, you know, the male just as a species, or as an individual, I guess, it is a competition and we all probably have to constantly remind ourselves to be open to other friends and other hunters.
Scott Jordan, https://www.facebook.com/CRCSOUTDOORS/ you’ve educated just a tremendous amount of kids, what’s your view on both…let’s just start with the women in the sport, in the outdoor sports, and then the testosterone factor for the guys. What’s your take?
Well, when we look at…you know, I take a…like 40% of the kids that I take places are young ladies. And, you know, as a father it’s so hard for me with Brooke to see some of that stuff. And I truly believe that something needs to be done about it because honestly when it’s a death threat, then that should be taken seriously and there needs to be more steps taken than just what’s going on right now. Because really nothing gets done, and then they get to continue.
What’s really nice with students is I don’t have a lot of that. You know what I mean? There isn’t… And the things that…the guides where we go will tell you, like when we go to New Zealand, this was my 16th year for taking kids to New Zealand hunting red stags. And one of the reasons that I do that is simply because of the hunting age in New York. So I can take a kid to New Zealand and they can shoot a red stag when they can’t shoot a deer here.
And those kids, like we don’t have a lot of that, but I do see some of that, you know, with Brooke. And she’s a trooper because I’ll tell you there’s certain stuff she doesn’t share with me because she knows what avenue that… “Dad, I didn’t show you that one.” Well, that’s good, right? But they are such a big component, just a larger contingency, and there’s more girls, more and more girls, getting interested. And we need to protect them. You know, whatever it is that we need to do.
“Dad, I didn’t show you that one
You know, with the media today, and as awful as it is, you know, if you can’t explain something in 20 seconds or less, than they’re not interested. And most of our topics today, especially just bring up, like, hunting in Africa, you need a half an hour to discuss that thoroughly and actually explain it. But to most people, right? They’re out 10 seconds, 20 seconds, they’re finished. You know, they’re not listening anymore and onto the next thing. But those girls that are interested, they truly want to be part of that. And because I teach in a rural area, and as you probably know 19% of our students in this country are rural, this is what they’re interesting in. And they are our base and they’re going to be our future. So, you know, I would love to see more things done to take care of them and to make sure that as they get into the industry…
Oh, I was starting to go… In New Zealand the guides would tell you that the girls are a better shot.
They listen and apply what they hear better than guys IMO.
And so they are role models in our industry and we need to do something about that, for sure.
CJ, back to you.
Yeah, I think we kind of touched on a real good point when we were coming to the death threats and protecting, but unfortunately everybody has the availability to be anonymous on the Internet due to the advent of social media. So, as a hunting community, does social media hinder or help us help spread our words?
Hey, Tom Denney what’s your two cents https://www.facebook.com/tom.denney.777?
Yeah, I think it does a little bit of both. It helps us get out message out there and to spark interest in all of our followers, but it also gives the advantage to the anti-hunters to come on and do exactly what they’re doing. I mean they’re picking us apart.
And I think, just to touch on what you guys was talking about with why the women are getting it even worse, you guys all had really, really good answers to that. And to keep from kind of mirroring those answers, I was going to ask in the form of a question do you think that they’re doing that, that they’re going after women, just to kind of stop the growth? You know, men are men and we’re all bashing each other, “Hey, you should have let that deer go another year,” and, you know, “It’s not a Booner, it’s”… You know, all that stuff. But the women and the kids are kind of the future of the sport, that’s the direction that we’re going, that’s where it’s growing. And do you think they’re attacking them just to kind of stop the growth?
Tom, to your point, even before social media
I think when you look at it there, Tom, to your point, even before social media we were all young and we were all youth and we were all involved in hunting or conservation or outdoor pursuits from a very young age. And we’ve only seen our numbers, now that could be due to social media, seemingly grow, and continues to grow. It seems like there’s always new outdoor pursuit pages out on social media or other avenues, whether it is showcasing a big wall-hanger or, like Jeremiah, with what you do after you make that kill. We’ve seen a lot of it kind of come out and we’ve seen kind of a diversification within it between, you know, field to plate or field fitness, things along those lines.
So I think we’ve kind of seen more of a growth. I’m not saying that they’re not attacking the females to kind of neuter that sort of growth, we could say, but I think they’re going after them. And kind of like mirroring what a lot of the people have kind of said, because they are supposed to be the fairer sex. And I think every single male in here can agree that every single female hunter that they’ve come across in the field would run circles around them, whether it’s in a stand or in a blind. And they’re making shots that us as males would either never attempt or could never make.
So I think our women are kind of battling back in that regard in the fact that they’re able to just say, “Okay, I know that you’re attacking me, but look what I can do better than a lot of the males.”
Yeah, and for me, like, being that dad, I posted a picture of my eight-year-old and my four-year-old dove hunting. They went dove hunting with me, we went out there, had a good time. And I had so much more bashing from the hunting community for taking my daughters out than I did any anti-hunter. I went and looked at everyone that was being negative and they were all hunters, they were all following Cabela’s, they were all following most of you guys, they all had pictures of big deer and big birds and duck blinds. And the negative stuff they said about my daughters and me taking my daughters out at that age was disgusting.
And I look at it from the fact of, like, I think it’s a fifty-fifty. We got a 50% antis trying to stop the women, but there’s a lot of male hunters who for so long deer camp was just a way to get away from your wife or just a way to get away from your sisters and stuff. Like me growing up, my sisters always hunted with us, like my sister was always a better shot than me. I just learned to shoot quicker and faster so that I would drop more birds than she would have a chance to. But she would shoot way less shells.
And, you know, deer camp has always been that.
And, you know, deer camp has always been that. Like we went to turkey camp and this guy was like, “Oh, my wife loves turkey hunting, but I won’t bring her because this is guy camp.” And it blew my mind because that’s never the way I was raised. I was always raised that hunting is hunting and you’re out there as a family and it’s a communal sport and it’s… You know, if you got 12 people out there shooting birds, you have 12 times as many birds coming home than if just you and your dad and my little brother went. I mean I have four older sisters. So if they didn’t hunt, we wouldn’t have had nearly as many duck coming home because my dad is a horrible shot.
And you look at this idea behind with me bring my daughters out there. And we went out dove hunting this time and the whole entire field was all males. And my daughter comes out and she’s wearing pink camouflage, she has her pink little, you know, Remington 870 that we had dipped in, you know, Mossy Oak girl camo. And I literally had a guy walk up and says, “Hey, you might want to go put your daughter back in the car, it’s a little too hot out here.” And my daughter just, like, looked at him and was like, “Maybe it’s too hot for you,” at eight years old.
And I think that’s like looking at Brooke and looking at Eva and looking at Hannah Barron and looking at these other women. They don’t care anymore, they’re like, “You know what? This is who I am and this is why I am.” So I think us as male hunters need to be more like that dad figure, like Scott and myself, where we can sit there saying, “Hey, these are our daughters, these are women that we need to respect. These are someone’s mothers, this is someone’s sister.” And, yeah, they can outshoot us and, yeah, they can do it, but we need to…deer camp is no longer just for the male population.
Like I went out with one of my best friends out bear hunting out in Alberta, Canada. And she was sitting there and the whole entire bear camp was all dudes. And they looked at her and they’re like, “Well, where are you going to pee if you’re out there?” She was like, “The same place you are, next to that tree.” “Well, there’s no way for makeup.” She’s like, “I don’t care.” And then so she shot this seven-foot, eight-inch bear. Came back to camp, it was the biggest bear in camp and she shot it with a bow and arrow and all the other dudes were shooting with a rifle. We pull up with this bear and all the guys, their attitude changed instantly, she became the coolest chick in camp, everyone wanted to talk to her, they all wanted to hear the story because she put her money where her mouth is.
Most hunters don’t care about conservation
And I think it’s sad that they have to do that, but I think as hunters we’re doing more destruction in the female and to each other than…you know, and for conservation. Most hunters don’t care about conservation. They just want to go shoot a big buck and that’s all they care about.
Yeah, I think you kind of touched on it there, Jeremiah, that it seems like there’s a lot of insecurities for us as male hunters that it used to be a male-dominated pursuit and it used to be a male-dominated thing. Like you said, deer camp or bear camp used to be 100% males, but now there’s more and more females getting sort of involved. And is it males that need to more or less evolve and accept that females are getting into these camps and into these sort of outdoor activities? And 9 times out of 10 they’re better than us. And is it an insecurity from the male side that we’re kind of going, “Well, crap”? I mean Brooke is coming out to bear camp and she’s slaying. Whereas, you know, Chase and myself are out there and we’re having a hell of a time trying to put down a bear.
I’ve hunted with females and they could hang just as well as we do.”
So do we need to kind of band together and support our females? Because I see a lot on social media where the females are getting lit up and we don’t really see a whole lot of males kind of stepping up and saying, “Hey, listen, I’ve hunted with her,” or, “I’ve hunted with females and they could hang just as well as we do.”
Let’s go over to Bruce.
I’m just thinking about Extreme Huntress. And I’ve been fortunate to have a number of the candidates on my show and last year Melanie Peterson won it. And Melanie became the first person in the world, on planet earth, to kill a Cape buffalo with a high-powered air rifle. Now there was a lot that went into that, they built a rifle specifically for Melanie to do this, but it took a lot of guts, cojones, whatever you want to say, for Melanie to face down that Cape buffalo. And she had two PHs and everything was right there. But Melanie is drop-dead gorgeous and all the Extreme Huntresses, they’re beautiful not only on the outside but the inside. And I think what Tom has done with that program, that contest, has kind of put some guys quaking in their boots because these gals flat can shoot, they can haul out an elk if they have to, they can ride, they can do it all and some of the guys don’t measure up, like, CJ, you just said.
So, Tom, you know, let’s talk about…a little bit about Extreme Huntress https://www.extremehuntress.com/main/and how that is helping reshape the hunting community.
Well, thanks, Bruce. And I’ll just say a little tidbit there about Melanie. Melanie is probably older than most of the people on the podcast here, including the gentleman here. Scott and I are probably…and Bruce are the oldest ones here. But she’s a full-time outfitter and she runs it herself and her husband doesn’t hunt and he doesn’t work in the outfitting business. So, believe it or not, he’s got his own business and does his own thing and she runs the operation, has been real successful with it and she’s the real deal.
I mean Extreme Huntress was created, like I said earlier, to promote women who are interested in getting involved in the hunting and shooting endeavors. And really the big reason behind it is, as it’s been echoed earlier today in this podcast, is the fact that if Mom goes hunting, you show me a mom who hunts that doesn’t get her kids into the outdoors, whether it’s with a bow or a fishing rod or out there with a rifle or a shotgun. And that’s really… You know, let’s face it, folks, hunting really has over the millennia made us the people that we are.
And I’m a firm believer that women who hunt are going to be…they’re going to have great families.
And I’m a firm believer that women who hunt are going to be…they’re going to have great families. And when you have divorce rates historically at 50% here in this country… I don’t know about you guys, I’ve got young kids, too, from 4 to 14, and it seems like, you know, at 5, 6, 7 years of age these kids are getting indoctrinated into all kinds of extracurricular activities. And in most states and provinces you can’t hunt, as was mentioned earlier, until you’re 12 or 14 years of age.
So if you haven’t had that male, that mentor out there, that stereotypical male mentor out there and you don’t…and you’re already involved in some other rotary this or some other sporting event at seven, eight, nine years of age and you can’t hunt until you’re 12 or 14, then we’re losing that whole group of kids out there that would be involved in the outdoors and those outdoor pursuits.
So that’s really the reason behind it, that’s our mission. You know, Extreme Huntress was never created to create a profit, it is definitely a nonprofit, I just didn’t go out and get the nonprofit designation. But, you know, it’s always fun every year. We just wrapped up filming last month at the FTW Ranch down in Texas, and then we’re at a private ranch to do some hunting. And we’ve got some phenomenal gals from around the world that are participating this year. But, again, Bruce, every year the women that participate in this thing are the real deal. And they are…you know, they ultimately are going to be great spokespeople for the hunting community, and that’s what we’re looking for.
Say Bruce Well, you have… If I could chime in, Tom. So I don’t know if you remember Rachel Burke. She runs Leithen Valley https://www.leithenvalley.com/ and she was one of your finalists one year. And so one time we’re on the mountainside and one of my kids was, let’s just say, not being real manly. She took the whole hindquarters, both sides, of a huge red stag and she was three months pregnant, threw it over her shoulders, blood running down the back of her neck, and humped that off the hill. But I can’t show that on TV, as you guys know, right? We’re limited by all these different little rules and you can only show… So on National Geographic they could show that, but we can’t. So that’s a limitation.
And then with some of the shows that I’ve seen recently, I mean, there is a divide as to whether you’re on the Outdoor Channel or whatever and I’m not quite getting it. But, you know, because we’re on Pursuit Channel, we’ve dealt with a few things. And one in particular, I’m not going to name the guy’s name, but we were at the Cabela’s award ceremony for Brooke and this guy found out that she won that, and so he was so happy to talk to her. The second he found out that we had a show on the Pursuit Channel, he turned around and wouldn’t even comment to her one more time. It was amazingly awful. You know what I mean?
So in some cases, as somebody brought up, we can be our own worst enemies and I really don’t get that part of it.
that certain men out there aren’t happy to have women in the field with them.
Yeah, Scott, I’ll just add there. You know, there’s been a lot of talk about women and talking about, you know, that certain men out there aren’t happy to have women in the field with them. Let’s face it, I mean, hunting in this day and has morphed from being what I would call a biocentric approach. I mean, you know, Jeremiah obviously wants to put food on the table and that’s what it was like for me growing up as a kid with a journalist for a father, a newspaper man. But in this day and age our modern hunters have a lot of changes and a lot of things have gone on. And, you know, for the last 40 years since I started hunting I’ve watched it change from, you know, it was all about being in camp together and the camaraderie and spending time in the outdoors. And it’s kind of morphed, when we talk about outdoor television, it’s kind of morphed to, you know, it’s about Booners, it’s about tape measures.
My wife is a master measurer for Boone & Crockett, she’s… Or a measurer for Boone & Crockett, a master measurer for SCI, one of eight or nine people that can teach the class in the world, and also a measurer for Rowland Ward. And she won’t tell anybody in hunting camp that she’s a measurer because it’s happened in the past where someone comes in and they know that she’s a measurer and they say, “Hey, well, my guide says we got this great 170 buck and would you measure it up for me?” And she goes out there and measures and it comes out a 169 and the guy is disappointed in his hunt. And, you know, “It’s a shit hunt and it wasn’t worth it,” and then he’s pissed off at his guide because his guide told him it was a 170, you know, Boone & Crockett buck.
And, you know, that, you guys are really hitting on a key point here. We really have to change how we talk about hunting, but we also have to talk about why we hunt. And if it’s about tape measures and putting your name in a record book, then I don’t think you’re hunting for the right reasons.
We’re all part of the community, but the industry is anybody that makes a buck of hunting or the firearms industry related to hunting.
And, you know, we really have to think about that. And really it’s changed. And I don’t blame the industry. And when I say “industry,” it’s very different than “community.” We’re all part of the community, but the industry is anybody that makes a buck of hunting or the firearms industry related to hunting. And, you know, I look at this and I just think that, you know, we have to figure out ways to work together. I don’t care if you whittle a bow and make it, you know, by hand and you want to hunt or you use dogs or you want to use…you know, hunt behind a fence that’s more than three and a half foot tall. The reality is that we’re all hunters and we all have to work together. It doesn’t matter what your sex, your creed, your nationality, or what your thoughts are politically, but we all have to do what’s right for wildlife.
And a lot of times I just ask people a real simple question. At the end of the day ask yourself are the decisions you made today in the best interest of wildlife and habitat conservation or are they in the best interest of the dollar, or the rand in Africa, or your organization, or your ego. And you really just have to ask that simple question, are the decisions you made today in the best interest of wildlife and habitat conservation. It’s not hard to do and it’s not a hard one to answer. And you’d be surprised how many people have a hard one putting wildlife first.
Oh, right, 100%.
I got to say though, Tom, two things you said was the record book thing. You know, many people want to know the score, but many people are not actually members or entering their deer into the record books. Pope & Young is the only organization to my knowledge that supports bowhunting solely as its mission statement. Now the money that goes into that, and I’ve been to the convention, the Pope & Young convention, goes to supporting conservation of bowhunting and so forth. You know, many record books are just, you know, state-run or privately run, you know, like New York where I’m from has a New York State Big Buck Club. I mean that organization really doesn’t do anything, but these Boone & Crockett and Pope & Young organizations have been the forefront of protecting our, you know, bowhunting and deer hunting and probably primarily big-game hunting.
But I think that should be noted, that the record book, you know, entering your deer in the record book, most guys that actually do enter it are out for bragging rights. You know, look at guys like Chuck Adams. You know, he never…I met him personally, you know, he’s not going to boast or brag, and look at how many animals he has in the Pope & Young’s. I know people who have 50 or 60 animals in the Pope & Young record books and they’re, again, it’s the guys that are bragging about the score, we’ve lost them years ago.
Yeah, and I think, Tim, I think maybe if we had a three-hour podcast we could really on this.
Well, we can do it again, Tom.
Yeah. So I guess, but to Tim, I totally get where you’re coming from. My wife gets pissed at me any time I don’t put something in the record books and I tell her I don’t hunt for record books. And, you know, to each his own, it’s personal preference, it doesn’t matter. But I guess what I’m trying to say is that for the last 40 years that I’ve been around hunting, you know, from my childhood through adult, you know, I have seen… You know, let’s face it, it’s not the hunting industry’s fault why we have such an emphasis on record books. How do you sell bow and arrows? How do you sell camouflage? How do you sell optics? Well, you have to differentiate your product from your competitor, I mean it’s capitalism.
And, you know, by nature of that, you know, there are organizations, you know, companies that will work with people that get…that are very successful in the field. And because of that we now see people that will literally break game laws, “Spook” Spanns of the world, people like that, that will break the law in order to potentially get them a sponsorship or a TV show. And that’s…because of social media we now have this floodgate of information that has no checks and balances. So this information not only goes out in the mainstream traditional media, but it also goes out all over the place on social media.
So I guess my point is that we just got to think about how we phrase and how we put the right type of terminology out there to the general public. And we have to ask ourselves do we really need to take pictures of giraffes and, you know, I call them zoo animals, and elephants and what not. You know, it’s an incredible experience to be able to go on a hunt for whatever species of animal and be successful in the field, and of course for Jeremiah to be able to eat that animal. But at the same time, you know, we’re dealing with a huge segment of our society that doesn’t understand why we hunt because they’re completely disconnected from it. So we just got to start thinking about being smarter in how we portray why we do what we do.
“Hey, I got to measure that,”
And I think for…to piggyback on what Tom is saying, it’s not to be afraid to go and do it, not being afraid to just post a picture of the meat or just post a picture of your hand that’s bloody. Like there’s been a lot of record book deer that, you know, outfitters and guides are like, and they throw their tape, you know, in the bushes and they say, “No, I don’t want to have to know that.” Like when someone asks me, I want to be able to tell them, “I got 198 pounds of meat off of it. And that to me is my record, but I think, like Chase and Tim, you can be driven by something else as long as it’s respectful.
I took out…this past year I took out three vegans on their very first hunt. And I took out this vegan on a dove hunt. He called me up and said, “Hey, want to go on a dove hunt?” And so he came out there, I went with him, he got his hunting license, we got him a Remington 870, went out and taught him how to shoot. And we’re out in the middle of the field opener of dove on September 1st and I’m looking at him, he’s all full of tats, he’s skinny, he’s malnourished because he’s eating vegetables. And we’re sitting there and he shoots his first dove and it hits the ground.
And I just walk over to him, I set my gun down and go, “Are you okay?” He was like, “I don’t know.” We walked over to that dove, and doves are flying over our heads. And I’m not shooting, he’s not shooting, everyone is yelling, you know, “12:00,” “3:00.” And we just sat on the ground and he just held this dove and we talked about it. And after about 30 minutes he went, “Okay, I’m good,” he put it in his bag and we started shooting again. And I literally just got a text message that said, “Hey, when’s our next hunt?” Like because of the fact that I wasn’t afraid to take out someone to teach them something, I wasn’t afraid to say, “Hey, if I don’t shoot my limit of dove, I’m okay with it.”
You know, I’ve posted pictures of me holding up my duck lanyard with no ducks on it. In social media we don’t do that. Unless we limit, we don’t post it. Unless we get the biggest deer, we don’t post it. Because you get made fun of. You know, if you go out and shoot a legal forky mule deer here in California, you’re getting slammed. But it’s a beautiful, legal, four-year-old deer that just is a fork. And people are like, “Well, it’s not a record book.” But I’m like, “No, but it’s feeding my family and my neighbors.” You know?
And so I think where Tom was saying about, “Do we really need to post a picture of the zebra?,” no. But can it be a really beautiful picture of their hand on the pelt itself and tell the story behind that hand and that pelt? By all means. And I think that’s more of a beautiful story than just this beautiful dead zebra that someone is holding the head all bloody. And I think that’s where we need to look at it. We don’t need to cater to the antis, but we’re giving them fuel for their fire by just holding up a deer that’s covered in blood. Like if we can do it respectfully and beautiful, then they have no means to stand on. Like I’ve never had a post deleted by Instagram or Facebook. They get blocked as sensitive material, but I have friends that are getting stuff deleted all the time. They can’t delete it because it doesn’t fall in the category of deletion, just of sensitive material.
So, but I think it’s beautiful what we’re all doing, how we all come from different aspects and we can all love the animal in a certain way, you know?
But that’s one of the biggest things…
Tom Denney? You still here, Tom? I guess not. Scott, you were going to say something?
Scott: Yeah. Well, one of the biggest changes that I’ve seen is, and what I get flak about, is to make sure everybody, the biggest thing they care about is whether you’re eating it. You know? And obviously that is our thing. And our family, that’s what we do. But wherever we go and whatever they do, you know? But, you know, as an omnivore we’re 20% efficient, so you’re crapping it out.
So honestly when people want to sit there and argue about that yet they’re going to give me all sorts of flak about a mounted animal… Now I’ve got a caribou out in my wildlife center that I packed that thing 42 miles, I took two trips at 21 miles, and every time I look at that mount it brings me back to that mountain and that moment. And I should have the right as an American citizen to enjoy that.
And so should everybody else. And as far as… You know, the taxidermists get hammered on this kind of stuff and it’s another part of our industry. And, you know, I truly feel that at some point there has to be some really eloquent wording put out there so that people start to understand that there are different aspects to all of this and every bit of it’s okay. If I harvested and ate that caribou but yet I still enjoy him, and I will for the rest of my life, I should be allowed to do that. You know? And I come from a situation where, you know, I didn’t have anybody to show me to hunt. I mean my dad tried, but he wasn’t an outdoor person, so I was self-taught. And having, you know, mentors and other people help out today, I just think we’re going in the right direction in so many different ways.
And then, you know, you guys brought up another part of this thing is I’ve had people pound me, it’s okay if we eat it, but they’re antis, yet they turn around, they got a leather belt, a leather purse, they go and sit in an Audi with leather seats. And, you know, maybe there’s a fear that hunters don’t want to go there, but it’s one of those things. I mean if you mention that Jell-O, an animal died so you could eat Jell-O… And a lot of these people, I’m sure they eat Jell-O. If they’re going to say something against us hunting and having meat, but yet it’s…you know, it’s okay.
And, you know, if you mention that brand name, I don’t know if people are afraid, then you can get sued for something like that. And, you know, being able to back ourselves up, there’s a whole bunch of information out there on that kind of stuff that needs to be made public. That, you know, we’re not ignorant and we need to not be treated like we are. You know?
“If the caribou come, we live. If they don’t come, we die.”
One think I’d like to throw out, if I could. Two things. You know, why I hunt is because it’s a journey that took me from 10 years old to now 72 years old to places all over North America, from Ungava Bay to Iliamna and parts in between. And the biggest thing that I remember when I was up in Kuujjuaq on Ungava Bay and I flew out and we were hunting caribou and catching brook trout, three to five pounds, and it was just a great trip. And there was an elder in camp. And I said, “What’s your life all about?” And the elders go all the way back…Inuits go all the way back to the land bridge, Bering Sea land bridge. And you think about that. And he said, “It’s really simple.” I said, “How so?” “If the caribou come, we live. If they don’t come, we die.” And I never forgot that lesson from him. Because hunting, and I know CJ’s story, so hunting has helped me live my whole life for 72 years, has helped me overcome.
Now you can’t say that in 20 seconds, you can’t say that on CAN, CNN, or whatever, and they won’t get it. They’ll go, “What are you talking about?” I’m talking about I did 30 days of rehab, hunting saved my life. And you start thinking about all these things and it comes back to the Inuit elder who said, “The caribou come and we live. If they don’t come, we die.” And that’s how those people have lived, off the caribou. And they killed caribou and they eat every single piece of that. And it’s just incredible.
And the other thing about Africa is that nobody that bashes people killing stuff in Africa understand where that protein goes. And it goes to the people that live there, the people that have absolutely dirt nothing. They live in dirt floors. And when a Cape buffalo is killed, an elephant killed, a giraffe is killed, an is killed, whatever, that protein, one, goes to the camp and, two, goes to all the people in the surrounding area. And that helps combat poaching. And that’s a whole other story for another time.
But I think of those two things. One, the protein that is shared with people who need it
But I think of those two things. One, the protein that is shared with people who need it. And I share a lot of deer every single year because I’m fortunate to hunt a number of states. And people get that meat that need that meat. And then the Inuits, “If the caribou come, we live. If they don’t, we die.” And to me that’s as simple as it is. Thoughts, comments?
Yeah, Bruce, you kind of alluded to it there with my story. And for those of you guys that don’t know or that haven’t read or listened to the podcast, I was a pretty high-level football player up here in Canada and ended up breaking my neck. And after a while there I wasn’t able to go out in the field and I wasn’t able to go out and hunt and fish and just be alone in the wild. And I felt that pull on my mental psyche. And kind of along Bruce’s Inuit line, I’m a firm believer that the outdoors did save my life on that day where I kind of woke up and said, “You know what? I got to do something. I got to go out there and be that voice and let my injury not define me.”
I broke my C2 vertebra, which is commonly known as a hangman’s break, and I could have very easily died on that field. But now I’m fortunate enough to be out in the field and living. And it’s been vastly therapeutic for me, I’ve been able to go out there and run and rodeo again and hunt and box and do everything that I was passionate about before, and even in my day-to-day work it hasn’t hampered me. And I think a big part of that is due to being outdoors and just the therapeutic nature of smelling the pines and hearing the waters and the wind, different bird calls and everything. And it really circles you back. And once you get into that right frame mentally, anything is kind of easy to achieve. So without hunting I don’t know where I would be, without fishing I don’t know where I would be. And it’s been a beautiful journey for that.
And to kind of…on Bruce’s there as far as Africa goes, yeah, I’m kind of with you. In 2013 I was fortunate enough to go down to Mexico and do some hunts and fishing. And on day two we ended up going deep sea and we ended up catching a seven-foot bull shark and brought that thing into shore. And we see a lot of people right now with aquatic conservation, which is great. But when we brought that thing over to our boat, we slaughtered it and we were able to donate that to the people that were in need and the people that needed that protein and that needed that meat. And with all the bonitas and mahi and barracudas we did the exact same thing. But it was the shark that ended up getting a lot of the blast and a lot of the death threats that I’ve received and a lot of the hate. And we butchered it right up for them. And seeing the look of appreciation from the people when we were handing it to them. And I know, Chase, you’re big into donating a lot of your meat.
So I kind of want to talk on that. We’ve kind of alluded to it in the fact that if you’re eating it, it’s seeming to be okay. But where does that line kind of get drawn? So we kind of…we shoot that wall-hanger and that record animal, and say we eat it or we donate it, what makes one animal different than another? So I donated hundreds of deer and I’ve donated a shark. The deer was fine, but the shark was this big hatred. So what is the definitive line that we need that script and that we need that softer approach when we’re posting these photos or saying, “Hey, I caught a shark,” or, you know, “Hey, I shot a pronghorn”? How do we outline that?
I personally think a lot of people need to cherish some of the experiences they have more for themselves and not be so quick to post on social media
I personally think a lot of people need to cherish some of the experiences they have more for themselves and not be so quick to post on social media. There’s things that I do that I…you know, that I do keep private. You know, for example, a friend and I, we do have a vlog and it’s based around, you know, hunting. But there’s thing that we do like, for example, we’ll float in a river in about a span of two or three miles and we have cameras along this river that’s public land. And, you know, we’re not posting every single little move and taking all these scenic shot that we probably could be doing because it’s more near and dear to our heart.
And it’s…you know, I mean everybody is…you go to the hospital, you get three stitches in your finger and people are posting pictures of that. I mean people need to cherish their family time and their experiences more than just for social media. I don’t know where the line gets drawn, I don’t see the problem with a shark. You wouldn’t think anyone would, but, you know, these days everybody finds something.
This is something I’ve kind of dealt with a whole lot. Being someone that hunts and travels and things like that as much as I do, and then people hear that I don’t really eat any animals that I harvest. Now I do a few, my hogs I normally do, my gator, the axis deer. I’ve been fortunate enough to hunt free-range axis in Texas several times and I really love the taste of that meat. But, you know, one thing with me is I grew up pretty much eating nothing but wild game, that’s all we had. I know that, you know, today’s times are way different than what they were back in the ’40s and ’50s, but when you still live in a single-parent home, you know, things can still be pretty tough even at this day and time. So that’s kind of what I grew up on. And, you know, as I got older and that’s all I had to eat, you know, you kind of get tired of it. And then, you know, developed an allergy to it.
And so, you know, a lot of people…you know, I take pride that I am…you know, I don’t know if you would call it a trophy hunter or what. I don’t really care much for that term, but I don’t know how else to describe it. You know, I do shoot does, that’s just part of a proper management plan. I take people hunting with me that do shoot smaller deer because that’s what they’re happy with, and that’s great. But for me I’ll target… You know, here we’re a three-buck state. And I’ll target three deer that I want to harvest. That don’t always happen. You know, I don’t know that it’s ever happened, that I killed all three of them. But that’s my plan going in the year. And that drives me all year long. You know, I’m hunting these three animals, that is my hunt. You know, that’s my passion, is to hunt these animals.
I do shoot does, that’s just part of a proper management plan
And then once you take those animals and you post them on Facebook and things and, you know, after you get all the jealousy and everything, I’m sure all you guys have experienced that, especially it seems like the bigger the animal the more people want to bash it. And I’m not killing Booners, you know, I’m in Virginia. So a Booner here is very rare, they’re just not on any of my properties.
But whenever it goes to…you know, to I don’t eat them, it seems to be worse with the bigger animals because they’re like, “Oh, well, you’re just shooting them for the horns.” And that’s true in a sense because, you know, that is my pride. Whenever I kill that target animal, you know, that’s what I’ve hunted for. You know, that’s it for me, that is the Mecca. But they don’t look at, you know, a lot of the lands that I have, my ability to hunt those lands relies on me getting the landowners that don’t hunt that meat. And, you know, I donate everything I kill. But just as he, as Chris, was saying with the shark thing, it seems like there’s certain type of animals that people just don’t care about.
I went on a hog hunt in Texas and my brother and I, we shot 63 hogs in three nights down there. The farmer would not let us drag them out of the field, they were in wheat fields. He said, “Leave them. Do not…you know, don’t do anything with them, don’t drag them out.” So, “Okay.” You know, we was getting hogs until, you know, we couldn’t do it anymore. But, you know, he had to get those out. When you kill that many hogs in that short of a time, you know, 60 out of your wheat field, you’ve got a problem. And, you know, people ask me, “Well, how did you eat all that hog meat?” I’m like, you know, “To be honest with you, I didn’t.” And they don’t care. But, you know, if I go out here and shoot three deer, it’s a totally different deal.
And there’s a sense, you know, a whitetail is kind of the, I guess, you know, more…there’s more whitetail hunters than anything, in my opinion, and maybe that’s just what I see because of where I live and things like that. But there’s definitely a difference. There’s a difference in species, there’s a difference in, you know, the antler size.
So people freak out if I don’t eat, you know, a buck with bigger horns than one with smaller horns. It’s like that animal with the smaller horns is a lesser animal, when it’s not. But, you know, I catch a lot of flak about that, “Well, why do you even hunt if you’re not going to eat it?” Well, I don’t eat it, but other people do. I’ve never killed an animal with the intention of someone not eating it. You know, I skin the animal, I prepare it. Whenever somebody gets meat from me, that’s what they get, is meat. They don’t get a whole animal that’s been around in the back of my truck all day that now they got to skin, I’m not like that.
And I think a lot of times that gives a bad name to it, too, because I know people that will shoot a deer, call around 20 people trying to give it away, and then they take it and drop it off and it’s still got the guts in it. You know, that’s just horrible. But, you know, I don’t know where the line is there myself because I’ve dealt with it so much and it seems to have never really changed. You know, as soon as I tell people a lot of times that I don’t really eat them, you know, it puts a bad taste in their mouth. But, as you guys can see, I have no problem telling anyone that because it’s who I am, that’s what I do.
I have a love for this sport that is unlike what most people will ever realize
I have a love for this sport that is unlike what most people will ever realize. And my hunt, there’s a reason why I hunt the way that I do. There’s a level of passion in that. And, you know, I don’t have to go by everybody else’s rules of, “Oh, well, you’ve got to eat it yourself,” and…you know, and things like that. It’s just not what I do. But I would never kill an animal without the intention of someone having that meat.
I’m not a wasteful person, but there…you know, it’s a very fine line there and…but, you know, wrapping this up, like he was saying about the shark, I don’t know what it is at all. When I killed my gator, nobody expected me to eat it. And that was one of the few animals that I actually ate myself. So it’s very odd to me and I think it’s more people let on that they care more than what they do. You know, people like PETA and those organizations that just try and tear us as hunters down, they don’t care…it’s like what Bruce was saying, they don’t care that that animal is donated to the people over there because that’s what they rely on to survive. They don’t care. They only care about the animals. And they don’t truly that because we all know what they do with, you know, putting all the animals down, the pets and things.
I think it’s more people trying to find importance in their life than anything, trying to stand behind something no matter how crazy it is. You know, that’s, to me, what all this stems from. It’s not that they truly 100% care. Because if you care about something, you research both sides of it a lot. No matter which side of the fence you’re on, you’ve researched both sides. And, you know, they have no clue what actually happens because they don’t want to, they’re all just jumping on a wagon to have some purpose in this world, in my opinion. And it’s just crazy to me.
Brooke, what do you think?
this connection because we’re predators too
I was taking a lot of that in. So for me, as far as going back CJ’s kind of original question about, you know, where do we draw the line, for me what I’ve seen is that predators often trigger a response from antis more than, like, deer. Deer seem to be like, “Okay, that’s acceptable, that seems like a normal thing to eat.” When you see people hunt a mountain lion or a bear, all of a sudden everybody loses it. And I think there’s a couple things that happen there. One, I think people assume they understand things about bears and cats because they grew up, you know, reading stories, watching documentaries. They think that they’re cuddly animals or that… There’s almost, like, this connection because we’re predators too that there’s, like, this…that it’s wrong. So I see a lot of that.
But as far as being respectful in social media, I’m somebody who’s always been a super people pleaser and I’m an English teacher, so I’m all about being…you know, trying to spin words correctly to make people happy. And one of the things that I really try to take pride in is that for me I never post super bloody pictures of animals. Meat, totally. But I try to post really respectful pictures of animals. You know, there was a couple rules for the SCI and Cabela’s award, you couldn’t have a kid sitting on an animal because it was considered, you know, like, disrespectful.
So I try to kind of keep that in mind. And I have a really diverse social media outreach and I have a lot of people who are vegan who still follow me because I spend the time to be eloquent and to help people understand this is why I do what I do, instead of doing the angry, bullish kind of, you know, bashing of anti-hunters. And, you know, I can understand why people who have never done what we do would find it scary or repulsive or be really disconnected from it. So I really try to be empathetic and put myself in their shoes, and then kind of come up with the explanation for them.
And for me, as far as, you know, like horns or antlers or things like that. Dad, my dad, can attest to this. He has always tried to be like, “Well, Brooke, you know you got two tags for this, you could go get another one.” And I’m like, “No, I really don’t need to.” I have always been very content with management animals because eating them is one of my priorities, but I also love to put my animals on the wall. I’ve had, you know, antis come at me and be like, “Oh, that’s disgusting. Like, why would you do that?” And it’s kind of what my dad said earlier in that, you know, that’s my memory…besides the pictures, that’s kind of my memory of this amazing thing that I did.
And to bring it all together, hunters really can have it all. I think that we spend so much time tearing each other apart and right now we’ve got a bunch of different viewpoints that everybody has brought up and they’re all okay. You know, nobody is, you know, the blood-thirsty monster that an anti-hunter wants you to believe that we are. And we all have, you know, different reasons why we do what we do, but it’s all okay. And so you can mount your animal on the wall, you can take pictures of it, you can only hunt for meat, we can do all of these things and it’s all okay. We really need to rally behind each other and stop judging each other for the reasons why we do it. Because we have enough flak from people who don’t understand why we do what we do.
taking the time to explain to people that it is about being in the outdoors
And so doing what we’re doing right now, taking the time to explain to people that it is about being in the outdoors, it is about feeding your family, it is about this beautiful, wonderful experience that you have with other people, instead of saying, “Well, you’re dumb because you don’t agree with me.” You know, taking the time to help people understand is how we are going to continue to keep our sport alive.
Yeah, I think we’ve kind of all nailed the point on the head here, is we’re all talking about respect. And I think Jeremiah and Brooke, you guys brought up great points in the fact that we don’t need to be posting animals of…or photos, sorry, of an animal just completely slaughtered. We have to respect and do our best for that animal, as well. That animal gave its life to sustain us and our family and our community, we need to do right by that animal. And I think, you know, if you take an animal, great. You know, by all means post it, but be respectful of it. Because that animal, you need to respect and understand that they gave itself for you. And I think by putting up photos that are essentially targets for these antis, it doesn’t do the animal any justice and I think we need to do right by the animals. It doesn’t matter if it’s a gator or a whitetail or a shark, I think we need to do…we need to be better for the animals that we target.
Let’s wrap up. We’ve been on for…we’ve been going for an hour and a half. So let’s just go around and one more time in a couple minutes just say why you hunt. Chase, why don’t we start with you?
my main lifestyle, that’s my drive in life
Because that’s just my…I mean, my main lifestyle, that’s my drive in life. It’s what brings me joy, seeing people get introduced to the sport. I’ve been a hunter all my life and I’ll always continue to do it.
Somebody jump in there.
I hunt for the sole purpose of feeding my family
I hunt for the sole purpose of feeding my family, feeding my friends, and getting those who aren’t interested in the outdoors excited about the outdoors by changing perceptions with respect, honor, and a good meal. Because if we don’t eat, we die as a human species. And if I can change someone’s mind by putting a delicious meal in front of them, then I’m going to do my part and I’m going to feed as many people as I can to change as many minds as I can.
I hunt due to it’s who I am as a person. I take great pride in being able to provide for my family. And being able to provide not only just meat, but that sense of responsibility and that sense of understanding of where your meals come from and the conservation effort behind it. It’s all about a responsibility to our planet and a responsibility to ourselves. And that would be why I hunt.
I hunt because it’s really all I have
I’ll go. I hunt because it’s really all I have. Started as a kid and led to my career and going to college and I’d be lost without. So it’s near and dear to my heart and I want people to see the adventures an the success that I’ve had in my young life and hopefully they can find an adventure near or far from home and meet some great people along the way.
For me hunting has taken me to the ends of the earth
For me hunting has taken me to the ends of the earth. I have, you know, been on mountains in New Zealand and in plains in Africa and all over North America. I never would have met my husband before…without hunting. It’s a bonding experience for my dad and I that’s super special to us, it’s a part of our culture. And I very much care about spending time in the outdoors, conserving the outdoors. I love animals. And lastly, I love knowing where my food comes from, that’s super important to me. And so that has become kind of my main mission in hunting.
Well, I hunt, my wife calls it my religion
Well, I hunt, my wife calls it my religion. You know, I would be there 24/7 if I could. There is nothing more special for me than to get into an animal’s head and try to think like they do. You know, humans can say what they feel and think, but they can’t. And so for me, I mean I moved when I was nine years old from a street that had 13 kids my age that we played sports together to out in the boonies in Crab Hollow Road in Black Creek, New York where there was nobody. So my world was the woods. And spending all my time out there, that’s where I belong. And, you know, as everybody said, providing for my family. It is something that…you know, it’s hard to explain to people, really. And I couldn’t love animals any more, and yet here I have captive deer and people that are like, “How can you have deer, and then you turn around and go and shoot an animal?” You know, and that needs to be a half-an-hour conversation. So, you know, I hunt because it is who I am.
I’m a steward and I’m a conservationist and I help manage what’s been placed on earth for us to manage.
And I hunt because I’m a steward and I’m a conservationist and I help manage what’s been placed on earth for us to manage. And so because of that I have an obligation to every single animal that I’ve ever killed, every single animal that I’ve ever hunted, every single animal that I’ve eaten and fed lots and lots of people. But we’re here to be stewards and that means take care of everything on earth. Not just the critters, but our water and our air and all those things. But yet I’m a hunter, so nobody would call me an extremist for the environment, but yet I am.
And it’s just it’s a huge paradox that we could sit here and talk and have people from all different places. And I’m really excited how our panel worked out, or how the Campfire worked out. Because it just worked out really beautifully that way because we had all different insights to the world of hunting. And it’s up to us and it’s up to every single listener that hears this. And we’ll probably…you know, we’ll go 50,000, 100,000. Probably, if we all share it, we’ll probably, you know, get a lot of traffic on this.
You took a vegan out hunting
But it’s our job… Just like you said, Jeremiah. You took a vegan out hunting. But, see, nobody else had ever extended that hand. And Ace Luciano talked about adding one, and he took one new person every single year hunting. And, listeners, just do that, or have a conversation, or get a hold of Jeremiah and say, “Man, I’m having this guy over and his family and what should I feed them? I got this, this, and this, and can you give me some recipes?” Well, heck, Jeremiah will give them some recipes, he’ll cook it up and a bottle of beer or some good single malt or bourbon or a good wine.
Tim make mine with water, Just water
Oh, water. Okay.
Water. Oh, okay, fine. But having said that, listeners, and to the group, it’s up to us. And that’s where I want this Campfire series to go, it’s up to us. It’s not up to the media, it’s not up to anything, it’s up to us to come together, reach common ground, and just extend a hand.
Any final thoughts?
Yeah, I think what you said, taking a new person out, it’s huge. I took out 123 new hunters last year, between the ages of 9 and 79. And not everyone shot an animal, but everyone became a steward of the land and everyone loved it and everyone enjoyed it. And to watch a 7-year-old shoot a pheasant and watch a 70-year-old…you know, 79-year-old man live his dream and finally shoot a pronghorn in Wyoming, there’s nothing better. I tell everyone all the time I would not shoot another animal the rest of my life if I could watch someone else get the joy of being outdoors and shooting another animal. I would live with an empty freezer as long as that person gets excited.
So by you saying take one person out, if one person… I mean I have 37,000 followers on Instagram. If each person took one new hunter out this year, that’s 37,000 new people introduced to our sport. And that’s just me alone.
Yeah, just do the math.
Yeah, ridiculous. Beautiful.
You know, exponentially just goes off the charts, but we don’t do it.
And I want to thank each one of you, Chase and Jeremiah and Scott and Brooke and Christopher and Tim, and Tom Opre had to leave, and Tom Denney had to leave. But thanks for being this and give me some feedback, firstname.lastname@example.org. Pluses, minuses, how we can make this better. But I think we’re onto something that CJ and I, you know, kind of kicked around and threw it together. Because I think this is good. Now we’ve got to get it out there, but I think this was good. So I want to thank each and every one of you for taking your time this evening to be part of the Campfire series.
Good luck this fall, everybody.
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